The Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar will today (Friday) inaugurate the Borno Central Mosque, which took 33 years to be completed.
Also to be unveiled are five other Juma’at mosques built across the ancient town of Borno during the administration of the present government of Governor Kashim Shettima.
The spiritual and traditional head of the Kanuris, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Garbai El-Kanemi, said he will be hosting the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, who will be doing his people the honour of the commissioning the mosques.
The Maiduguri Central Mosque and all the five other mosques were remodelled by the present administration.
Shettima, whose administration had assisted in rebuilding some churches burnt in the ongoing Boko Haram crisis, explained during an assessment visit to the Central Mosque, that “government is about addressing peculiar needs of every society and to Borno people, meeting religious needs is as important to them as providing other basic needs, hence his involvement in building places of worship in areas where such projects seem beyond citizens.”
According to history books, Borno was the earliest to institutionalise Islam in Nigeria, more than five hundred years before the 1804 jihad of Usman Dan Fodio. Borno has been a gateway to Islamic scholarship in Nigeria.
The Maiduguri Central Mosque was first built in 1918 before it was demolished in 1986 for the purpose of expansion and remodelling.
Wealthy citizens and successive governments had tried to complete the mosque but the project was stalled until Governor Shettima restarted it about three years ago and completed it late 2018.
The Central mosque, renowned to be amongst the most beautiful and expansive in Nigeria is under the custody of the Shehu of Borno. Besides the central mosque, five other Juma’at mosques spread across the state capital would also be commissioned on Friday.
“His Royal Highness, the Shehu of Borno and Deputy President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji (Dr) Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai Al-Amin Elkanemi, CFR, warmly invite the Muslim Ummah to historic commissioning of the Maiduguri Central Mosque which was completed and remodelled by the administration of Governor Kashim Shettima, after 33 long years since the Mosque was started.
“His Eminence the Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar will Insha’Allah commission the Maiduguri Central Mosque on Friday the 8th of February, 2019,” a statement from the Shehu of Borno’s palace read.
Four other mosques to be commissioned same day, the statement adds, include “Umar Bn Khatab Jum’a Mosque and Islamiyya school in Bulumkutu, Kalimari Jumma’a Mosque in Shehuri South, Mafoni Jumma’a mosque and the Abujan Talakawa Jumma’a mosque”.
Governor Shettima had clarified that another mosque located around Kasuwan Shanu in Maiduguri is amongst those to be commissioned.